Blend of se (to see) +‎ lyssna (to listen). Possibly coined by writer Ulla-Bell Thorin in around 2000, but gained usage after having been picked up by the Deaf organization Barn- och Ungdomsjour på Teckenspråk (BOUJT) and the Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company.



syssna (present syssnar, preterite syssnade, supine syssnat, imperative syssna)

  1. (neologism, Deaf culture) to listen with one’s sight
    • 2018, Filip Burman, “Vi lever i en redigerad verklighet [We are living in an edited reality]”, in Dövas Tidning[1]:
      Vad är mest sant? Vilka slutsatser ska man dra av all statistik och siffror? Vem ska jag syssna på egentligen?
      What is most true? What conclusions should be drawn from all the statistics and numbers? Who should I really listen to?

Usage notesEdit

  • The word is sometimes used within Deaf culture in order to draw attention to the fact that listening for a person who is hard of hearing requires attention with the eyes rather than with the ears.


Derived termsEdit